Ten years ago, Mankato native J.B. Lloyd wondered if he’d ever win the Loren Krugel Invitational, his beloved golf tournament played at Mankato Golf Club.
On Sunday, he won his fourth title.
“I played in this tournament 18 years before I won,” said Lloyd, 45. “Now, I wonder if this will be my last (championship).”
Lloyd shot a two-day, 45-hole total of 175, which is three under par, for a three-stroke victory in the 63rd annual Krugel on Sunday. He also won Krugels in 2002, 2006 and 2008.
Lloyd, who shot 67 on Saturday and had a three-stroke lead heading into the 27-hole finale, struggled early on Sunday, shooting three-over 39 on his first nine holes, and lost the lead heading into the final 18.
“It was early, and it was slow,” Lloyd said. “I was hoping to get some momentum, but that back nine is tough. If you mishit it at all, it’s tough to recover.”
Lloyd regained control early in the final round, making birdie on holes 2, 4, 5 and 6. However, he missed a short par putt on 11 and bogeyed 13 to keep things interesting.
“I knew I had a two-shot lead on the 14th tee,” Lloyd said. “I wasn’t nervous. I knew there was a lot of golf to play.”
Lloyd secured the victory on 15, making a 10-footer for birdie as his competitors all missed shorter putts.
“That was a big swing,” Lloyd said.
He then made a 12-footer for birdie on 17, finishing as the only player under par. He shot a 69 on the final 18 holes.
“It’s a fun event, and I love it,” Lloyd said. “I’ll play here for a long time.”
Andy Petersen and Jonathan Hanner tied for second at 178, and Rob Bell was fourth at 179, finishing the final 18 at 65, the low round of the tournament. Tim Holland was fifth at 181.
Dan Sarff won the first flight at 157, Tony Miller won the second flight at 162, Shawn Schwichtenberg won the third flight at 160, John Rogers won the fourth flight at 181, and Richard Place won the fifth flight at 198.